As the budget debate continues we seem to be losing sight of some fundamental principles.
We, the Guyanese are a free people. There is no “ruling party” despite the media’s insistence on describing the PPP/C as such.
Sovereignty resides in the people not in the executive, and certainly not in any political party. We exercise sovereignty through our elected representatives (eg MPs, President and local government). Elected representatives are there to serve us not to rule. They get their legitimacy from us. Anybody who does not have the humility, the competence and the integrity to serve the people of Guyana, has no business being in Parliament. This is not Utopia. It is possible. (I have dealt with at least one minister who served with dignity and a genuine concern for the people.)
Last but not least, the budget debate is about our money. The government does not have any money. Guyana’s money comes from us, the people through taxes. It comes from natural resources which belong to all of us, not to any sector of society or any political party. Borrowed money becomes a national debt which we, the people, have to pay off long after the relevant minsters have been replaced.
Let us use commonsense. No sane business person would hand over decision-making power to somebody who was not trustworthy and competent. Running a country is a much more serious undertaking with a correspondingly greater requirement for trust and competence.
A badly run business merely loses money. A badly run country is unjust, undignified and dangerous.
Our money should be spent to make Guyana a safe and peaceful country, to eliminate social injustice, to conserve our magnificent natural heritage, and to enable each and every one of us to develop our full potential and capabilities as human beings.